Planning a A+ parents and caregivers’ evening

Colleen Daniels, the principal of Gerard’s Educare, Strandfontein, called on Africa A+ to support the staff in planning a parents and caregivers’ evening. On the 5th January Anya Morris, Colleen, and the Gerard’s teachers met to plan the evening.

The planning team’s first task was to establish the outcomes for the proposed evening  i.e. What do we want the parents and caregivers to take away with them at the end of the evening? Colleen and the educators identified that they would like the meeting to strengthen the trust and collaboration between the parents, caregivers, and staff at Gerard’s. The parents and caregivers would leave the meeting feeling confident that Gerard’s delivers a quality early education and care program that serves the best interest of each child.  The planning team decided that the best way to achieve this outcome was to:

1- offer the parents and caregivers an experience that showed them what the children do at Gerard’s

2- involve the parent’s in processing each experience so that the parents and caregivers make the connection between the children’s play activities and learning, the aims of the 0-4 years National Curriculum Framework, and how each play activity underpins later success at school

The parent and caregivers’ meeting took place on the evening of the 8th January at Strandfontein High School.  The parents and caregivers participated in drawing, creative collage, hoola hoop and balloon games which exercised their fine and large motor skills, collaboration, creativity, imagination, problem-solving and ingenuity.  “Just how do you create a soft, rounded bunny when all you have to work with are  pointy paper triangles that don’t fit the task at hand?!” After the activities the Gerard’s staff facilitated a processing activity that actively involved the parents and caregivers in writing up and presenting the outcomes of each activity. The following questions were asked:

⦁ What did you notice? How did you feel?

⦁ What would the children learn if they did the same activity?

⦁ How does this match with the curriculum?

By engaging with the questions the parents and caregivers made  connections between  play and learning, how play underpins learning to read,write,understand mathematics and build relationships, and a happy and successful formal school experience.

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